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North Of Boston: Tourism ConferenceJanuary 30
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North Of Boston: Tourism Conference
January 30, 2009 The FIT Market:
A Hotelier’s Perspective
A Receptive Tour Operator’s
Perspective The United States vs. Key Markets:
Where do ‘we’ fit in?
Receptive Operator vs. Tour Operator:
City Break vs. Fly Drive:
Where do ‘I’ fit in?
How the Process Works:
What can I do to get my fair share? United States vs. Key Markets:
Where do ‘we’ fit in? Top Five In-Bound Continents
Top Five European Countries:
Top Five Asian Countries:
Vietnam Top Five South American Countries:
Chile Top Ten Visited States
(As of 2003):
Excluding Canada & Mexico
New Jersey Top Ten Visited Cities (As of 2003):
Excluding Canada & Mexico
Boston The Receptive Operator
The Tour Operator:
Who’s who? Tour Operator’s are based in a given country or region
& package world wide product to be sold directly to consumers
via catalogues, the internet or both.
Thomas Cook - Page and Moy
TUI - Premier Holidays
Virgin Holidays - BA Holidays
DER Tours - Kuoni
FTI – Aeroplan
JHC - Asahi Travel
WRC Reizen - Travel Trend
Iceland Air Receptive Operators-for our purposes-are mostly based in the U.S. and are packaging/bundling US product that is then sold
to the operator’s in various countries.
Key U.S. Receptive Operators &
Their Major Markets:
AlliedTpro: UK, Germany, France
American Tours International (ATI): Germany, UK, China
Gulliver’s Travel Assoc. (GTA): UK, Germany/East Europe, Scandinavia, Israel
Hotelbeds: UK, Germany
New World Travel: Germany
Key U.S. Receptive Operators &
Their Major Markets (con’t)
H.I.S. Intl: Japan
FM Tours: Scandinavia
Key Local Receptive Operators:
Tour Mappers of New England: Europe
Total Travel & Excursions: Asia
By working with a receptive operator your product
is offered and sold to a wide variety of countries
and tour operators large and small.
In this way your product has greater exposure
and potentially better sales.
A Receptive Tour Operator is able to package your product (hotel, inn, attraction etc) into-for example-
a “fly drive” itinerary. Hence, offering the
tour operator a complete vacation
which can then be marketed and sold to the consumer
without having to contract multiple vendors,
thus reducing associated
costs and destination research. City Breaks vs. Fly Drives:
Where do ‘I’ fit in?
City Breaks, the most popular-short term travel
option-focuses on a specific city or destination
over a period of two to three days.
This is short-haul travel.
Top City Breaks:
NYC, Vegas, L.A., Orlando, & Boston
Fly Drive programs are more “long-haul” covering a larger geographical area
and usually spanning seven to fourteen days.
Top Long Haul Fly Drives:
South East, South West,
Grand Canyon/Central Plans,
& New England For a Receptive Operator a city break
is also known as a simple FIT.
This means that the product is offered
as a “stand alone” product
rather than a component of a product
such as a flydrive.
FIT’s are often featured by Tour Operators
who offer custom made itineraries.
IE: The consumer can work their own routing
and chose appropriate hotels for each destination.
A Fly-Drive is a set itinerary using predetermined
hotels and is packaged to offer one overall price.
Fly Drives are the most frequently offered product. Remember:
Tour Operators and even some Receptive Operators
are selling the world-not just the U.S.
GTA for example packages Globally,
with the U.S. comprising
only 11% of their world wide business.
The U.S., New England, and all of us
compete on the world stage
when marketing to this audience.
We and the New England region compete
against the rest of the U.S. as well!
How the Process Works:
What can I do to get my fair share? How the Process Works:
What can I do to get my fair share?
Co-op with your DMOs
Attend trade shows and sales missions.
Discover New England (DNE) Summit: April
Travel Industry Assoc. (TIA)/POW-WOW: May
DNE Sales Missions to Germany or UK: June/Sept.
Remember that a Receptive Tour Operator will probably be attending all these shows
as well as conducting their own sales calls in different countries they work with.
Co-oping with your Receptive Operator is a great way to cover more
territory and maximize a limited sales & marketing budget.
Holiday Travel Show/Dublin and Manchester: January
Ontario Motor Coach Assoc. (OMCA)/Toronto:
World Travel Market (WTM)/London: November
Mid-Atlantic Conference/Reykjavik: February
International Travel Bureau (ITB)/Berlin: March
Follow-up on leads.
Be prepared to “work”
with the operators
Learn to work with vouchers and
Training of front desk staff is essential.
Remember if you work with a Receptive Operator
or direct with a Tour Operator the rates are
confidential and should never be divulged
to the guests.
Additionally vouchers show who the invoice
needs to be sent to.
A voucher may have a Thomas Cook logo and address, but may say booked and payable through TourMappers.
Don’t send the invoice then to Thomas Cook!
It will greatly delay the payment and you would have
disclosed the Receptive Tour Operator’s
confidential rates to the Tour Operator.
. Pay attention to rates.
Try to give the operators what they need.
When working with a Receptive Tour Operator
you must realize that the Receptive needs
to make money too, so they will mark up
the rate by 10%.
Therefore, the Receptive Operators’ rates need to be 15% below the Tour Operators.
In turn the Tour Operator will mark up
the rates received from the Receptive
by 15% so they can make money
and cover their marketing expenses as well.
Do the math and make sure the end sell price
to the consumer is not higher than your rack rate!
In return you will receive volume bookings Offer specials in your low season
REVPAR vs. ADR!
React well enough in
advance to “need” periods so the Receptive Operator has time to sell them! Keep rates at parity—try to create a level playing field,
within each category, when ever possible.
Understand the difference between a
Receptive Tour Operator & a Tour Operator,
and the need to differentiate the rates offered. Follow up quickly on all customer related issues
keep in mind International Travel Laws
protect your partners.
Get your rates set for the following
year by the DNE Summit.
Have contracts done by POW-WOW
for established accounts,
and shortly after for new ones.
Receptives request rates be ready by
the DNE Summit. Don’t take on more than you can chew,
just more than you can handle!
Lower Rates do NOT mean
Your FIT Rates should be slightly higher than Group.
About 25-30% off rack.
Is this not close to Corporate?
While many hotels will look to the Corporate Market
as their primary base, unless the property
is running at 100% occupancy,
there should be rooms to bare. If you allocate roughly 10% of your daily inventory to the FIT market, at the end of the year you will have gained versus displaced revenue.
Black Out Dates are crucial!
State them up front and on your contract, whenever possible.
Keep in mind-Black Out Dates shouldn’t necessarily mean NO rooms-just higher rates! Better to give them something to sell rather than nothing at all.
. If blackout dates are agreed upon at contracting, offer a higher rate so we can still feature the high demand dates.
Operators hate additional blackout dates. Once an allocation has been agreed upon it should never be blacked out.
Remember that the operator has gone to great expense and effort to publish your product Room Allocations are even more crucial!
Average two rooms per over-seas operator
and up to five per Receptive for contracted allocations.
Spread your allocations over several accounts!
This will increase your odds of selling what you want,
and need for a healthy ROI.
Remember allocations cannot be touched
and should be taken out of sellable inventory,
unless the operator agrees to
release space back to hotel.
In the case of most Receptive Tour Operators they will have a booking engine.
Therefore in TourMappers case, we would load your rates, allotment and cut off dates into our system.
Our clients can then book through our web site.
This provides instant availability and booking so the reservation agent can close the sale immediately. Our software then takes the room out of our allotment and the hotel is informed of the booking.
Allotments are essential. Free-Sell is even better!
Let one or two key accounts function on a “Report and Sell” basis, without a given allocation.
This will give the operator more freedom, and you a clearer picture of where your stand on any given day.
NOTE: You can request a “Report and Sell” status on all of your contracts—but it may bog you down—
and it is not necessary for allocations with cut-offs—it is crucial however for Free-Sells. Cut-Offs are important:
Ask yourself, “What is the closest I can go on any given date, before pulling back my un-sold rooms”?
The average is seven days—but during lean times, and tighter markets three is better. Remember, the longer you can give them—the more they can sell.
This can be seasonal if you would like.
Stop-Sells are a necessary evil:
Watch your dates 90-60-30
and 14 days out!
Do not get caught with fewer rooms in
inventory, then you have allocated!
Stop sales are okay but should be kept to a minimum and the operator should be informed of the reason.
If you are over booked and in trouble ask the operator to release back to you the allotted rooms – relationships are so important here. Stop Sells are different than Black Outs:
“Black Outs” may still give the operators rooms to sell, but at a higher rate.
“Stop Sells” mean NO rooms are available:
PLEASE STOP SELLING ME!
You can issue “Stop Sells” at any time-prior to your cut-off period.
Remember: If an operator can’t sell you MOST of the time - they will be less likely to sell you ANY of the time.
DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY!
Operators have long memories!
The relationship has to be mutually beneficial,
we help you when you require business,
and you help us by providing appropriate rates
and allotments when we need you during high seasons. Cater to your audience:
Prepare group meals, especially breakfast, with the European or Asian pallet in mind.
Everyone wants the Full American Breakfast, but….
English like tea and jams,
French like croissants,
Italians like bread, Asians like fruit,
and the Germans like ????
Add “real” tea to the guest room coffee packets. NOT Salada!
Offer coupons and inclusive rates.
Have electrical adapters available.
Front Desk staff could be bi-lingual and
scheduled during check-ins.
Be prepared to cash Travelers Checks, frequently.
Get creative with marketing:
A good rate can buy great marketing!
Promos & give-aways can give you added exposure:
Stay three nights get the fourth night FREE!
Book now until May 31st and get an additional 20% off the rate!
Need a decent lead in time.
Although consumers are booking less in
advance due to the economy,
long haul travel is still booking
6-9 months out.
Offer the specials at contracting! Catalogues may be disappearing, but travelers are still holding on to them.
Affiliate yourself with thewinners,
and be a winner too. Always remember and never forget….
A room un-sold tonight,
is revenue lost forever!